Investing in Technology on your Irrigation Systems – 3 Things to Consider
Hard to believe that in a few short months AgSense will be celebrating its 14th year in business. The original hardware and software was primarily for simple remote pivot irrigation monitoring with very little pivot control available. Since that time, and especially in the last five years, it has evolved into far more comprehensive remote farm management. The grower can now in many cases monitor and control up to 100% of their irrigation equipment and functions remotely from a computer or smart phone, as well as many additional applications around the farm such as soil moisture, grain temperature, and interactive load demand management with participating power companies.
While all these options are great to have available, it can be overwhelming for the grower to decide how and where to invest in remote farm management technology. Fourteen years ago, it was pretty straightforward - - get a text when the pivot starts, stops, or loses power. Otherwise, most pivot control still needed to be done at the pivot point.
The technology advancements have proven very beneficial to the grower both financially and from a ‘lifestyle’ standpoint, but certainly makes the decision making process more complicated. How much should I spend for remote pivot irrigation and mobile farm management equipment? What’s the payback? Where’s the ‘tipping point’ where I become a slave to the technology?
Here are three things to consider as you make those decisions:
1. The ‘Million Dollar’ Text Message - - Many of our customers have commented that one single text alert letting them know of trouble on a pivot hours ahead of when they would have been aware otherwise has saved them many times the cost of the equipment. For example, overlapping pivots that would have crashed. A mechanical problem or stuck pivot that stopped watering during a critical crop stage. Or a blown fitting or hose pumping water unnecessarily all night (or worse - - fertilizer).
2. Support After the Sale - - proper installation and technical support is critical, both locally and from the manufacturer of the hardware and software. AgSense sells and installs only through its comprehensive dealer network of trained experts. They know the AgSense equipment AND the irrigation equipment it is being installed upon. Don’t rely on a company that by-passes your local irrigation equipment dealer and/or is not extremely familiar with all the pieces of the equipment puzzle. You don’t want to find yourself caught in the middle when equipment is not working and you need to irrigate.
3. Reporting and Agronomy - - AgSense has the most comprehensive historical reporting and agronomy software features of anyone in the industry. This is not often the first thing growers consider when making the decision to equip their farm with remote pivot irrigation and pivot control systems, but once installed they love it!
Don’t let a mixed fleet of machines prevent you from considering remote management of your irrigation. AgSense is compatible with all electric and hydraulic pivot brands, bringing remote monitoring and control of your entire operation to a single dashboard. To understand how remote pivot management can add to your bottom line, consult with your local AgSense dealer or contact AgSense at 605-352-8350, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or instant message via LiveChat at www.agsense.net.
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